Today’s Post by Joe Farace
My friend Jason Anderson wrote a wonderful post called Five Tips to Improve Your Car Photography that I think you should read when you get a chance. But today I want to offer you five different ways to improve your photography, little things you can do to improve your photography in general and cars in particular.
Take one step closer to your subject. This is not an original thought but an idea one of my personal heroes, Ernst Haas, made. If you’re not familiar with his work, pick up his books at the library or, better yet, buy a copy of his seminal work, The Creation, from Amazon where used hardbound prices start at $2.70 (plus shipping.)
Your camera has interchangeable lenses; why not change them from time to time. So many people who buy DSLRs or mirrorless cameras never take off the kit lens that came with it. Lenses of different focal lengths provide a different perspective and can change the look of an image and it doesn’t matter if it’s a long or short focal length lens. It doesn’t have to break the bank either. Used lenses are a great option; you’re going to use them anyway. KEH has a class of used and highly affordable gear they call “Bargain” that may not have great cosmetics but work just fine.
Change your point-of-view. Stand on a hill a ladder or a chair (be careful.) Kneel down or lay on the ground it all adds up to a new, different way to see a subject. If you camera has a flippy screen use it to make Hail Mary shots of cars, like I did with a Edsel woodie wagon.
Shoot More Verticals. For reasons unknown to science, smartphone users shoot everything, including video, as verticals. DSLR and mirrorless camera shooters shoot everything a horizontally because that’s the shape of the camera. Try some verticals. You will be surprised what happens and it won’t hurt your wrist.
How I made this shot: This 1970 (I think) Plymouth ‘Cuda with an amazing Lemon Twist paint job was photographed at Parker, Colorado’s Cars & Coffee. It was shot with a Canon EOS M6 Mark II mirrorless camera with a less than stellar but serviceable (see my review) EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 33mm. Program mode exposure was 1/500 sec at f/14 and ISO 200.
Avoid Bull-eye Syndrome. Don’t place the subject in the center of the frame. Shooting a horizontal image at eye level with the subject smack in the middle of the frame can work sometime (if you’re lucky) but not if you really what to improve your photography.
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